ASEAN, India strengthen strategic partnership

Azlan Othman

At the 22nd ASEAN-India Senior Officials’ Meeting (AISOM) held online on July 16, officials reaffirmed their commitment to further strengthen ASEAN-India strategic partnership.

The senior officials exchanged views on the developments in ASEAN and India, including responses to the COVID-19 pandemic. Both sides highlighted their potential cooperation in areas of health, including vaccine production and distribution, and public health emergency, the Asean Secretariat said.

They discussed ways and means to strengthen cooperation in areas of mutual interest, including combatting terrorism, violent extremism and transnational crimes, maritime cooperation, enhanced regional connectivity, trade and finance, investment and economic cooperation.

Areas such as climate change, agriculture, disaster management, science and technology, education and cultural and people to people linkages, sustainable development and narrowing the development gaps were also discussed.

ASEAN and India noted the progress in the implementation of decisions made by leaders at the 16th ASEAN-India Summit last year and the implementation of the ASEAN-India Plan of Action.

The two sides reiterated their commitment to finalising the new Plan of Action for 2021-2025, to be adopted at the ASEAN-India Ministerial Meeting in September this year.

The senior officials exchanged views on the evolving regional architecture and major power relations, as well as regional economic architecture and economic developments.

India reaffirmed its support for the ASEAN centrality in the evolving regional architecture and in ASEAN-led mechanisms, as well as to the implementation of the ASEAN outlook on Indo-Pacific region.

The 22nd ASEAN-India Senior Officials’ Meeting was co-chaired by Secretary (East) of the External Affairs Ministry and SOM Leader of India Vijay Thakur Singh and Permanent Secretary at the Foreign Affairs Ministry and SOM Leader of Thailand Busaya Mathelin.

The online 22nd ASEAN-India Senior Officials’ Meeting (AISOM)